Monster has sued Beats By Dre, a move which could result in an epic legal battle over the rival headphone companies.
Monster was the original co-designer of Beats By Dr. Dre and also invented the technology, according to Monster CEO Noel Lee. In a lawsuit acquired by USA Today, Lee charges that “Iovine and Dre (Andre Young) committed fraud in pirating the headphones away from Lee and Monster.”
Lee says, in papers filed in San Mateo (Calif.) County Superior Court, that Beats Electronics, Beats By Dre’s parent company, hid the comprehensive totality of his and Monster’s role in the creation of his eventual rival.
Apple bought Beats for $3 billion after they severed ties with Lee. To further punctuate the matter, Lee once had a 5% stake in Beats, but wasn’t able to participate in the millions of dollars earned in the buy-out. He would have made roughly $100, the lawsuit says.
In 2013, Dre and Jimmy Iovine bought back Beats and then it was purchased by Apple a year later.
In an interview with AllHipHop, Noel Lee explained the nature of the relationship with Beats before the Apple deal went through.
“When I hooked up with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, almost 6 years ago, headphones weren’t a thing. They were an accessory. What I really learned from Jimmy and Dre was how to market to basically pop culture. They had the power to do that. I had the technology to make everything,” Lee told AllHipHop. “We designed everything…we worked together as partners. And we changed the world.”
Here is an interview with Noel Lee, the head Monster.